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French Elegance at Chez, Melanie & Richard

When I first met Melanie’s mother, Jodi, I knew that we would have a fun few months finalizing all of the details for Melanie & Richard’s December wedding at Chez. Jodi is witty and has the most open heart, that you can’t help but be best friends with her! She found all of the people that became our team of professionals and I assisted with final meetings and deadlines.

Jodi has impeccable style and that was shown in the team she chose – Chez, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Entertaining Company and Kehoe Designs…just to name a few. I loved that Jodi incorporated some of her own china and antique finds to the final look of the wedding. Those are some of the details that make a wedding so unique, and Melanie & Richard had a wedding that was uniquely their own!

Melanie & Richard chose to have a First Look and then take a few iconic photos with their wedding party around the city. It was a clear and crisp December afternoon and everyone was in high spirits as we hopped in and out of cars to capture photos in downtown Chicago. Meanwhile, Chez was being transformed into a French Country style, with a twist. Vince from Kehoe Designs brought in key elements, like gold baroque console tables to accent the escort card table, a stunning floor to ceiling chuppah with exquisite draping, and vintage mirror tables for guest dining. Everywhere we turned that night, we were in awe of some other detail.

Melanie & Richard signed their Ketubah prior to the ceremony beginning and there was such an air of excitement and of love when Melanie walked down the steps and the aisle to Richard. There was not a dry eye. With the shout of “Mazel Tov”, guests were moved into the cocktail and lounge area of Chez while the room was flipped for dinner. It was a spectacular display…from the floral/décor from Kehoe Designs, the personal (and rented) china, the exquisite meal from Entertaining Company, and the stunning four-tier cake from Elysia Root Cakes. What a memorable celebration!

Congratulations, and Happy Anniversary, Melanie & Richard! I was so honored to have helped you enjoy your special day!

A little note from the couple:

We just wanted to say thank you so much for everything you helped us with before and during the wedding. You were so attentive and organized and really made sure that we were happy with everything. There is NO way we could have done everything without you. My mom and I were joking that we were just twiddling our thumbs the week before the wedding because you had everything covered! You were so great during the wedding too and I felt like I was really able to enjoy it and not worry about all the details. So thank you SO MUCH.

Melanie’s Dress: Anna Maier from Ultimate Bride
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Helm from Cenzina’s
Mother of the Bride Dress: Mira Couture
Gentlemen Tuxes: Black Tie Formalwear
Bakery: Elysia Root Cakes
Beauty: Cynde Cosmetics & Salon Soca
Floral/Décor: Vince Hart from Kehoe Designs
Food & Beverages: Entertaining Company
Musicians: Bluewater Kings Band
Officiant: Rabbi Evan Moffic
Photographer: Jeremy Lawson Photography
Getting Ready Hotel/Room Block: Ivy Boutique Hotel
Invitations: Magnificent Milestones
Venue: Chez
Videographer: Vanilla Video
Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

The Ivy Room, Stephanie & David

The term “Triple Threat” is typically reserved for actors and actresses in showbiz, however Stephanie and David brought the term to wedding planning – a great sense of humor, graciousness, and style. And when I say style – this couple really hit it out of the park. When they teamed up with Jessica from HMR to take Stephanie’s love of the color marsala, bold details, and out of the box ideas into their October wedding, I just knew it was going to be really, really good.

When I first met Stephanie and David, their graciousness and hospitality was evident right from the start. When we started talking about their vision for the wedding day, their answers always came back to making it the best day for their guests. We tackled their desire head on, beginning with transportation for all guests to and from the ceremony – making their trip from downtown hotels easy and enjoyable, with coolers filled with waters and easy pick-up locations. The next approach was through food and drink, and Abby from Boka Catering Group helped Stephanie and David come up with an incredible menu, drinks, and worked in Stephanie’s Croatian heritage into the mix as well with glasses of specialty liqueur, which greeted guests as they entered the reception. The mix of farm tables and round tables with luxurious leather banquets designed by HMR provided their family and friends with unique seating and a stunning atmosphere to dine and celebrate the newlyweds!

With family and friends continuing the unofficial theme of hospitality through some of the most heartfelt speeches I have ever witnessed and surprises for the bride and groom, their guests were in no doubt left with a wedding that was unique, personal, and flowed seamlessly into dancing and late night fun. Front of House kept the party on the dance floor until the very end! We are so excited to share the incredible photos from Pen/Carlson and are so happy for Stephanie and David!

A little note from Stephanie & David:

The entire day was incredible. We cannot thank you enough. You know, a lot was said at the rehearsal dinner about David’s love of rom coms. To steal a line from one, Allison Young, you are our Ambassador of Quan. We love you!

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Ceremony: Alice Millar Chapel
Reception Venue: Leslie Fuller, The Ivy Room
Getting Ready Suite: Trump Hotel
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Photography: Brett and Kiri Carlson, Pen/Carlson
Videography: Tom Buttaccio, XO Pictures
Band: Ken Arlen’s Front of House
Floral and Décor: Jessica Griffin, HMR Designs
Lighing: Frost
Catering: Abby Kritzler, BOKA Catering Group
Linens: La Tavola Linens & BBJ
Rentals: Tablescapes
Hair Styling: Michelle Foust, George The Salon
Makeup: Sami Young, Sonia Roselli Studio
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Invitations & Day of Paper: Kara Gordon, Magnificent Milestones
Wedding Dress: Ultimate Bride, Oscar de la Renta
Planning: Allison Young, LK Events

Beckley & Matt, Chicago Club

A beautiful Fall day + a couple in love = a perfect wedding day. That is the day we shared with Beckley & Matt. Their wedding day began with the ladies getting ready at The Chicago Club. There was a joyful vibe between Beckley, her mom and her bridesmaids. There were gifts, mimosas, much laughter…and hairspray. The fabulous Maggie from Gerber + Scarpelli was capturing all of the little details, including Beckley’s gorgeous gown.

Beckley & Matt chose to have a First Look at The Chicago Club and then a photo session with their wedding party and immediate families. When all of the photos were wrapped up, everyone boarded the shuttle bus and headed to the ceremony. Beckley and her dad rode in style to the ceremony, in a 1962 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce – it was beautiful!! And talk about beautiful…St. Clement is one of the most spectacular churches in Chicago. That is where Beckley and Matt exchanged their vows in front of their family and friends.

After the ceremony, guests boarded shuttle buses that took them to The Chicago Club for the reception. The cocktail hour took place in the Lounge with guests noshing on Australian Lamb Chops and Mini Crab Cakes. Guests were then invited upstairs for dinner, where Fill It With Flowers had provided fabulous décor and centerpieces. Beckley & Matt decided on a kings table for their reception and enjoyed their three-course meal surrounded by family and friends.

After dinner, guests made their way back to the Lounge for dancing. The Chris Sarlas Orchestra rocked the house and guests continued to pack the dance floor all night long. A few guests were able to break away for the Dessert station, but everyone mostly wanted to dance, dance, dance!! Congratulations again to Beckley & Matt!

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Bride’s Attire: Ultimate Bride
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Bakery: Sweet Mandy B’s
Beauty (Hair): Salon V
Beauty (Make-up): Ashton Kollak
Florist: Fill It With Flowers
Food & Beverage & Venue: The Chicago Club
Rehearsal Dinner: Bistro Margot
Musicians (Reception): The Chris Sarlas Orchestra
Officiant: Father John Beckley
Photographer: Maggie from Gerber + Scarpelli
Transportation: Windy City Limousine and Classic Wedding Car
Ceremony Venue: St. Clement

Jennifer & Tyler, Germania Place

I met Jennifer and Tyler at the beginning of the year and was thrilled when they hired LK Events for their wedding. Tyler proposed to Jennifer in the summer of 2011 and a fall wedding was in the plans. They fell in love with Germania Place for the reception and had their ceremony at the beautiful St. Alphonsus Church in Lakeview.

Jennifer and Tyler knew they wanted a “Chicago style” wedding for many of their out of town guests. Tyler chose Mastro’s Steakhouse for their intimate Rehearsal Dinner and hosted a welcome reception there as well. Jennifer and Tyler were able to take beautiful photos with their Bridal Party around the city before the ceremony, as the weather was perfect.

Taylor, at Richard Remiard Designs, adorned the guest tables with stunning crystal candelabras, Parisian style candlesticks, and Murano glass vases. White orchids, cream and blush garden roses, hydrangea and lizianthus filled the vases along with a lush bed of rose petals on the table tops.

Front of House was incredible and kept the dance floor packed all night long. Guests enjoyed a sweets and ice cream station provided by the bride and groom’s favorite local chocolatier – Kilwins. We ended the reception with a surprise Sparkler Exit for the bride and groom.

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Getting Ready Location: Hotel Palomar
Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera (purchased at Ultimate Bride)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Shoe Designer: James Ciccotti
Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen Tuxes: Formally Modern Tuxedo
Ceremony Location: St. Alphonsus Church
Reception Location: Germania Place
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Sonia Roselli
Photographer: Wedding Creativo
Entertainment: Front of House
Floral, Décor and Lighting: Richard Remiard Designs
Wedding Cake: Oak Mill Bakery
Ice Cream Station: Kilwin’s
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Invitations and Day Of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Rehearsal Dinner & Welcome Reception: Mastro’s Steakhouse


Lauren & Daniel, The University Club

I had so much fun meeting Lauren and her mom, Kimberly, the year before Lauren and Daniel’s wedding. Lauren is full of energy, funny and outgoing. She was so excited to talk about the plans that would be happening in the coming year. Lauren was finishing school in Chicago and had met Daniel a few years prior. They chose the Michigan Room of The University Club for their wedding reception. They loved the elegant charm of the classic ballroom but we gave it a modern twist with the colorful floral and décor that Lauren and Daniel chose.

The invitations and programs were kept simple and beautiful with creams, gold and black text. The bridesmaids each carried a different color bouquet of orchids that popped against their black dresses. Renee, from Kehoe Designs, designed the stunning monobotanic floral arrangements for the guest tables. We used an artistic collection of square vases filled with Hawaiian orchids, hydrangea, spray roses and peonies for each table. The colors of fuschia, emerald and orange were stunning. The tables were square with crisp white linens and clear Versaille chairs to enhance the vibrant colors of the centerpieces.

Lauren and Daniel’s wedding was so much fun! Spoken Four kept the dance party going all night and the guests were loving every minute of it.

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Getting Ready Location: The University Club
Rehearsal Dinner: The Signature Room
Ceremony Location: Holy Name Cathedral
Reception Location: The University Club
Floral and Décor: Kehoe Designs
Cake: The University Club
Invitations & Paperie: Yellowbird Store
Hair: Maxine Salon
Make Up: Beauty on Call
Linens: BBJ
Rentals (Chairs, China, Glassware): Halls Rental
Transportation: Windy City
Photography: Pen / Carlson
Band: Spoken Four
Wedding Dress: Ultimate Bride
Photobooth: Shutterbooth